BEWARE: Retired Police Woman Lost 400,000 php in an ATM SCAM

A retired police woman who used to work as chief of the Women’s Desk of the Manila Police District became one of the victims of the ATM machine scams. Also called as ATM skimming, the crime is done by copying one’s ATM card data using a concealed device attached to the machine unknown to users. Those who use that ATM machine will have their typing in the number keypad also recorded in the hidden memory card. She has lost all her retirement funds amounting to almost 400,000 php to ATM skimmers and has already sought the help of the National Bureau Investigation (NBI).

Chief Inspector Anita Araullo, the victim, explained to the NBI that all her life savings for the entire 30 years of service were emptied without her knowledge. She found out that the mysterious series of transactions has started a few years back. She complained that for one day alone in August, 2 years ago, she lost 100,000 php in 10 consecutive transactions, despite having a daily maximum withdrawal limit.

Araullo also mentioned that she only found out lately that her account was completely drained of her savings because she never checked, believing that the money was safe with her bank. It was her daughter who took charge with her card, but when they found out that there have been anomalous activities with her account, it was already too late.

Chief Inspector Araullo has already divulged the matter to the Central Bank, but for now, they still don’t know whether or not they can still recover the stolen money.

Currently, the NBI is conducting an investigation regarding the incident. However, they advise the public to be really careful when withdrawing cash from ATMs to avoid the same horrible situation.

The NBI has also given safety measures regarding to the notorious ATM scammers.

1. One should choose to withdraw from machines in crowded areas or places where there always people, police, or guards around like malls. It would be difficult for the fraudsters to install the skimming device.

2. Check your accounts and monitor transactions regularly and inform the bank immediately if unknown transactions have been discovered.

3. People who withdraw money from ATMs must take extra caution of the people around, especially those behind queues who might be trying to take a chance to peep while one is punching his/her pin on the machine. It is also advised to maintain a reasonable distance from the current user to the next in line.

4. The NBI encourages cardholders to register or apply for a bank scheme that sends messaging alerts when withdrawals above the limit are done.

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